FRACTURE #8 July 1999 **
This is the only issue I have in my possession of the Fracture zine and this was passed on from Mitch (thanx). I was curious to see what was hailed as the last great hope of the UK punk printing masses. And also coz I had more than a passing interest in the letters page. Well I won't be as stupid or naive to dismiss this mag outright coz that's doing exactly what Fracture preach! So let's see what's in it worth noting. The Wat Tyler 'Top Ten of the most over rated punk bands' has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Although only two of the bands were wrongly included, those being Black Flag and the Pistols!! It was always gonna be the Pistols one way or another, just for the crack I bet!!! But Black Flag??? Trev Hagl's (he of Savage Amusement) column lacked his usual bite and character, but that was probably due to the slashing editing by the powers that be. The Blind Destruction Records profile was without a doubt the only other thing that kept my attention span for longer than a few seconds. And of course the mammoth reviews section are worth a browse. The rest of this mag, however was bland non-descript ego mania trading. Well what do you expect for a stamp?!!! PO Box 623, Cardiff, CF3 4ZA, Wales, UK or
SLUG & LETTUCE #61
Oct/Nov. '99 ***
More DIY ethics from the American punk community. Community and punk is certainly not every punks cup of tea or vision. But this long running mag has some good points and some really naff ones! The naff ones in question mainly concern the almost 'ippified statements some of these punks come out with. They are thankfully kept to a bare minimum via parts of the editorial and some of the guest columnists. As always S&L's biggest attraction is the monster reviews section. Which takes up the bulk of this issue. They are unbiased for the most part and give you a good idea of what's on show in the U.S. punk bracket today. It's a good resource outlet. Also S&L is intersperced with some often great action photos of the editors favourite bands (check out this Aus Rotten snap on the left!) But Christine's non-punk images leave a lot to be desired! (Ha!) And for fucks sake Chris, can't we lose the back page ad from Sound Idea Distribution! Or can't the fuckers have enough imagination to design something new, please!!! It's been the fucking same since the late 80's no doubt!! Send an s.a.e. to PO Box 26632, Richmond, VA 23261-6632, USA.
RLYEH RISING FANZINE #4 ***
Another issue sent for perussal by Mitch, which eminates from the US capital of crustie Anarcho punk, Portland in Oregon. This is a darkly brooding portal of typewritten sermons verging on the gothic/ metal side of printed reading. Fuck knows what the name is all about? I can't even pronounce the fucker, so it's gonna find a hard time lodging in a punks memory! ..."hey have you read a copy of "arrrleh?" why don't they just call it Harley? And who the fuck is HP Lovecraft when he's at home? I must admit horror authors like Steven King, Mary Shelly and Bram Stoker are about all I know on this genre and that's through films, but this issue I'm informed, is dedicated to this author. Mean-while Oi Polloi take the lions share of this 24 page read, with as always a good indepth debriefing of Scotlands blood splattered history and Anarchy In The UK if hiding amongst the ruins of Stonehenge is really gonna change anything! Deek lead singer with Oi Polloi is the only Scotch bloke I've met who ain't got a Scots accent!!!...so work that one out? But considering this, he don't half make up for it by his dazzleing and informative knowlege on the history of the Celts. He's definitely a 21st Century Robert The Bruce in the making. There's a few pages nicked from other sources and reprinted plus ads and an interview with more Anarcho's, this time from Malaysia in the form of Mass Seperation. There's a few pages of reviews of anarcho incorporated bands and a couple of poems sit uncomfortably amongst the gothic artwork. I love the blackness of this zines layout with only the white print straying from the blackness, but like a million other anarchist zines this can't or won't stray off the regulated path, leaving a very half hearted, seen it all before kinda read. It makes yer scream!!! Come back Statch And The Rapes, at least they refelect an honest side of Portland Punk scene! PRICE? from PO Box 40113, Portland, OR, 97240-0113, USA
AGAINST April 1999 ***
This one's a DIY info sheet all the way from Poland. I had this through the mail and although it sounds like a very quick read, the layout and style is professionally compact. Which gives Against a larger than expected information quota. Against is mainly politically motivated. Covering organisations who are trying to free prisoners in the European theatre. It also gives some interesting contacts in the Polish punk scene. With a good scene report on the bands, zines etc. Plus for any crusties out there a review section. Should have a few more issues out by the time you read this. (Print run 2000) Free from Daniel Winiarek, Terebelska 66, 12, 21500 Biala Podl., Poland. (Don't write 'Against' on your envelope)
NEUROTIC REALISM ***
36-page Anarchist zine here from an Open University course member! This seems to have sprung up from nowhere. It's a hard one to define in that it's more about the idealogy than the music. So some good stuff and some bad stuff gets covered. The pathetic Stuart Home interview brings home the negative side. I can't understand anyone falling for Mr Holmes flawed punk views? In fact they ain't punk at all! The mans a charlaton and the sooner these zine editors suss that out the better. What a waste of space, and his books are even worse! Also an article on Dadasim which was interesting for five minutes. Were they all a sex crazed gang of misfits!!!? Well that's art for ya! Quite a wide range of reviews that cover a large arena. The later half of this zine was it's best point. With a Chris Wheel- chair (Bus Station Loonies) interview, a re-print of a Steve Ignorant (Crass) interview from the early 80's when he meant it maaaannn!!! There was a really good article on CD writing technology, a must for all you record labels growing out your bac bedroom! From what started off as another intellectual thesis, Neurotic Realism has some good hidden agendas worth checking out. James the editor is after contributors, ranters, bands and nopise merchants for future editions. ? C/O James, 48 Sandylands Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA6 6EU, UK.
FAT WRECK Issue#8 **
This is similar to the NRA catalogue but with one major flaw. Of the 24 pages on offer only 7 wasn't actually selling you stuff! Although that could be coz they were being very sly!!!? We've got band questionaires, competitions, photos of lots of fat smirking wrecks and a bowling tournament!!! Is this some sort of joke... punks and bowls? Apparently it's big news amongst the older Californian punk celebrities. I somehow can't see Duane Peters doing it though! I must be missing something here. Well the differences in labels speak a thousand fold! College school humour and jock rock observations from so-called punks. Don't these yanks know nothing? Fat Wreck Chords, P.O. Box, 193690, San Francisco, CA 94119-1936, USA.
REALLY FREE #10 ***
Another 8-page newsletter here from the Valleys. Phil is putting these out pretty regular now. Although his funny explanations on delays in the intro are worth reading just for the crack! This issue is predominantly reviews only, and that's just what makes this rough 'n' ready photo-copied and typed freebie good! There's no bollocks and no pandering to bands feelings at all. The reviews are straight down the line, honest and how it should be! Unlike a lot of other wanna be dilluted so-called punk journals out there in the UK today. Cheap (free) and throwaway and what real punk news- letters are meant to be! If your a bargain punk record fair trainspotter you might catch Phil's stall around the South-West of the UK. PO Box 15, Pentre, Rhondda, Mid Glam, CF41 7YG, Wales.
June/July 1999 Free ***
This is a good 20 page broadsheet and would be even better if the coverage was more punk and the adverts and selling technique wasn't quite so high up on the agenda. Pulped sells you every page! But I spose this has gotta sell to keep it being free! Yeah it's free at certain gigs or if you buy something (The Mailorder does have a lot of good punk stuff on it as well.) What punk is covered inside is done very well, in a smart format and professional way. Some good interviews with the US Bombs, Garry Bushell, Gundog and Rough Kutz. Plus straight- edgers Earth Crisis and a Dublin Ska band. So you can't say it don't cover all the corrners of punk. But the none punk stuff bored me silly. Some good news items and a UK gig-guide which made all the difference. So if you see a copy at a gig pick it up. This kept me from going insane in Derby, while I was waiting for the pubs to open one Sunday morning, so it also has medicinal purposes! STP Mail Order, PO Box 12, Lockerbie, DG11 3BW, Scotland or PULPED